It seems that there was a mix up with the travel agency, because I don’t remember ordering my weekend with extra heat. Isn’t that the main reason to get away from LA at this time of year? Fortunately, our first extravaganza of the weekend took place in the shade as we scored some wicked good seats to the Cubs/Cards game at Wrigley Field (thanks Lauren). Our once a decade observation of America’s favorite pastime, and filling up on some of Girodano’s famous stuffed crust pizza post-game was really only a precursor to our date with Ryan Schrieber at the Pitchfork Festival Opening Night Party.
After standing in line behind Mr. Schreiber outside the Metro (he has to stand in line at his own party?), we promptly arrived in time to catch the Joggers. It’s always difficult to fully appreciate a band that you have heard very little of. Yet, the magic that encompasses great bands can still be conveyed through music that you aren’t already acquainted with. The Joggers might not be that band, but their promises seemed a little more grounded than their bill-mates, Voxtrot.
It’s really hard to not like Voxtrot. They have a lot of ingredients for success: the looks, the sound, the hooks, the voice, etc... but for some reason I’m not completely buying it. Their pop-goes-indie sometimes comes off a little too TRL, and their pogo-ing made me feel like I was in the wrong venue. Of course, their throw back melodies, McCartney bassist, and “prettiness” can’t be seen as a lost cause when placed in perspective with their stand out tracks like “Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives.” It’s just scary what could happen to these guys given a shine selling producer, and label looking to turn them into the next Fall Out Boy.
All these inconsequential critical thoughts of these opening bands were lost when Sunset Rubdown’s Spencer Krug began strumming through the opening song of the set. I wish I had a copy of this tune because it was the highlight of the evening. Even after the Rubdown played through beefed up highlights “Stadiums and Shrines,” and an extended take of “Three Colours” off the EP, all I could think about was how great their first track was. After seeing the Krug clan at their first stop on their tour back in early May, it is amazing to see how tight and controlled the band has become. The current state of Sunset Rubdown, as portrayed through their live performance, is sure to quell any thoughts that this is just a toned down Wolf Parade, and further solidifies Krug as one of the premiere songwriters of this generation.
[mp3] Sunset Rubdown – Three Colours
[mp3] Sunset Rubdown – Stadium and Shrines
[mp3] Voxtrot - Mothers, Sisters, Daughters & Wives
[mp3] The Joggers – Era Prison
Stay tuned for the Content’s recap of day one and two of the Pitchfork Music Festival in the coming days.